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Jobs set to go in budget squeeze

ICE NEWS

JOB CUTS at Great George Street are expected after Council provisionally approved a 5% cut in the Institution's operating costs for next year.

Chief executive Mike Casebourne was applauded for pinpointing £465,000 of efficiency savings from the running costs of the ICE's HQ in discussions about next year's budget proposals.

The budget, presented as 'necessarily tough', was strongly supported.

Casebourne said: 'This is the beginning of a shift in resource towards the local associations where the members actually are. A reduction in head count at Great George Street is inevitable but we have yet to say how much reduction and which heads.'

Travelling expenses, copying, printing and mailing costs would also be squeezed, he added.

The savings would pay for next year's £142,000 (reduced from £167,000, NCE 17 June) investment to set up regional ICE HQs in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and £50,000 for five new Local Association Development Officers (LADOs) in what Casebourne described as 'perhaps the start of regionalisation of the ICE'.

New communications director Alan Smith would start in November with an extra £60,000 with which to promote the ICE and each grade of membership, under the proposals. The amount was criticised as 'inadequate'. Vice-president David Cawthra said: 'The money we are spending on promotion

is inadequate. If we don't market this institution we will get less market share.'

Colin Clinton called for a bigger slice of the budget to be spent on public relations. He said: 'The proposal to increase spending on communications and public relations from 3.77% to 3.88% is pathetic. Businesses spend a lot more. We are shooting ourselves in the foot.'

But past-president Sir Alan Cockshaw commended the budget in view of the declining income of the ICE. He said: 'We must spend more money promoting the ICE and on the local associations but there are limits on our income. We've set a very difficult target. I suggest we commend this budget as it is.'

The final draft of the ICE's 1999/2000 budget will be presented to Council for approval on 2 November.

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